A Travellerspoint blog

October 2019

Cambridge - the quintessential British college town

King's College Chapel, built from 1446 to 1515, is England's best example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture and the single most impressive building in Cambridge

King's College Chapel, built from 1446 to 1515, is England's best example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture and the single most impressive building in Cambridge

The areas of parkland on either side of the River Cam are called The Backs; the colleges in Cambridge are scattered throughout the town and largely off-limits to tourists

The areas of parkland on either side of the River Cam are called The Backs; the colleges in Cambridge are scattered throughout the town and largely off-limits to tourists

King's College Chapel opened when Henry VIII was king; the intricate, 80 meter long, fan-vaulted ceiling in the chapel is the world's largest

King's College Chapel opened when Henry VIII was king; the intricate, 80 meter long, fan-vaulted ceiling in the chapel is the world's largest

This 14th century church is dedicated to St Botolph, who is the patron saint of travelers; the church was by the south gate of medieval Cambridge, through which travelers from the south and west entered the town

This 14th century church is dedicated to St Botolph, who is the patron saint of travelers; the church was by the south gate of medieval Cambridge, through which travelers from the south and west entered the town

The Polar Museum has displays of both the history and contemporary significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and their surrounding seas; founded in 1920, it is part of the University of Cambridge Department of Geography

The Polar Museum has displays of both the history and contemporary significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and their surrounding seas; founded in 1920, it is part of the University of Cambridge Department of Geography

The 26 stained glass windows in King's College Chapel date from the 16th century; it's the most Renaissance stained glass in one spot anywhere in the world

The 26 stained glass windows in King's College Chapel date from the 16th century; it's the most Renaissance stained glass in one spot anywhere in the world

The Brits (and even the ducks) are experts at queuing; the Cambridge area is a high tech hub and the British version of Silicon Valley

The Brits (and even the ducks) are experts at queuing; the Cambridge area is a high tech hub and the British version of Silicon Valley

St. John's College; Cambridge is the UK's most unequal city in 2018; residents' income was the least evenly distributed of 57 British cities measured, with the top 6% o earners accounting for 19% o its total income and the bottom 20% fr only 2%

St. John's College; Cambridge is the UK's most unequal city in 2018; residents' income was the least evenly distributed of 57 British cities measured, with the top 6% of earners accounting for 19% of its total income and the bottom 20% for only 2%

One of the unique activities in Cambridge is punting on the River Cam; you can rent a boat yourself for 20 pounds or take a ride on one while the captain delivers an interesting narrative

One of the unique activities in Cambridge is punting on the River Cam; you can rent a boat yourself for 20 pounds or take a ride on one while the captain delivers an interesting narrative

The Mathematical Bridge links the old and new buildings of Queen's College; this wooden bridge, although curved, is made of straight boards

The Mathematical Bridge links the old and new buildings of Queen's College; this wooden bridge, although curved, is made of straight boards

Peterhouse College was the first of Cambridge's colleges, founded in 1280; Cambridge is the town where DNA was originally modeled, the atoms first split and electrons discovered

Peterhouse College was the first of Cambridge's colleges, founded in 1280; Cambridge is the town where DNA was originally modeled, the atoms first split and electrons discovered

When King's College Chapel was built it had the largest single span of vaulted roof in the world; during WW2 the priceless stained glass windows were removed for safekeeping

When King's College Chapel was built it had the largest single span of vaulted roof in the world; during WW2 the priceless stained glass windows were removed for safekeeping

Pubs in England are easy to spot because they have baskets of flowers all over their facades;  the city in Massachusetts (home to Harvard and MIT) was named after the university here

Pubs in England are easy to spot because they have baskets of flowers all over their facades; the city in Massachusetts (home to Harvard and MIT) was named after the university here

The King's College Porters' Lodge is where one or more porters can be found to respond to inquiries from the public and direct them around the building; bicycles are the easiest way to get around Cambridge

The King's College Porters' Lodge is where one or more porters can be found to respond to inquiries from the public and direct them around the building; bicycles are the easiest way to get around Cambridge

St. Catherine's College, founded in 1473, is moderately sized (by Cambridge standards) consisting of approximately 70 fellows, 150 graduate students and 410 undergraduates

St. Catherine's College, founded in 1473, is moderately sized (by Cambridge standards) consisting of approximately 70 fellows, 150 graduate students and 410 undergraduates

The free Fitzwilliam Museum was a treat to visit since it had exceptional pieces and wasn't nearly as crowded as London museums; on January 25, 2006, a visitor tripped and shattered three massive Qing Dynasty vases so I was extra careful

The free Fitzwilliam Museum was a treat to visit since it had exceptional pieces and wasn't nearly as crowded as London museums; on January 25, 2006, a visitor tripped and shattered three massive Qing Dynasty vases so I was extra careful

Rubens' masterpiece, Adoration of the Magi (1634), adorns the altar at King's College Chapel; entrance to the chapel costs 10 pounds

Rubens' masterpiece, Adoration of the Magi (1634), adorns the altar at King's College Chapel; entrance to the chapel costs 10 pounds

The 1695 Wren Library has priceless items including Isaac Newton's notebook, A. A. Milne's manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner and several works printed by William Caxton, including the first book printed in English

The 1695 Wren Library has priceless items including Isaac Newton's notebook, A. A. Milne's manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner and several works printed by William Caxton, including the first book printed in English

King's College courtyard; it is one of the 31 colleges in the University of Cambridge; alumni include cryptographer Alan Turing and economist John Maynard Keynes

King's College courtyard; it is one of the 31 colleges in the University of Cambridge; alumni include cryptographer Alan Turing and economist John Maynard Keynes

The King's College Choir performs a daily evensong during the school term; on Christmas Eve, a special service is held here and broadcast worldwide on the BBC

The King's College Choir performs a daily evensong during the school term; on Christmas Eve, a special service is held here and broadcast worldwide on the BBC

The sole Neoclassical building of King's College was built in 1729; King's College was the first in Cambridge to admit women (1972)

The sole Neoclassical building of King's College was built in 1729; King's College was the first in Cambridge to admit women (1972)

Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built in 1130, is one of the four medieval round churches still in use in England; Cambridge suffered no damage in WW2 so all town buildings are original

Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built in 1130, is one of the four medieval round churches still in use in England; Cambridge suffered no damage in WW2 so all town buildings are original

Trinity College is the richest and biggest of the town's colleges; more than a third of the Cambridge's 83 Nobel Prize winners are Trinity alumni

Trinity College is the richest and biggest of the town's colleges; more than a third of the Cambridge's 83 Nobel Prize winners are Trinity alumni

Courtyard at Christ's College; Cambridge is 50 miles north of London with a population of 123,867 including 24,506 students

Courtyard at Christ's College; Cambridge is 50 miles north of London with a population of 123,867 including 24,506 students

The Chelsea bun is the famous, local cinnamon roll but we didn't try it; Wordsworth, Isaac Newton, Tennyson, Darwin and Prince Charles are all alumni of the University of Cambridge

The Chelsea bun is the famous, local cinnamon roll but we didn't try it; Wordsworth, Isaac Newton, Tennyson, Darwin and Prince Charles are all alumni of the University of Cambridge

This apple tree is supposedly a descendant of the very one that once stood in the garden of Sir Isaac Newton; Newton spent 30 years at Trinity College

This apple tree is supposedly a descendant of the very one that once stood in the garden of Sir Isaac Newton; Newton spent 30 years at Trinity College

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V&A-world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of 2.27  million objects

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of 2.27+ million objects

Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci, 1495; this notebook was used by Leonardo when he worked for Duke Sforza in Milan (it's hard to tell but the notebook is quite small)

Notebook of Leonardo da Vinci, 1495; this notebook was used by Leonardo when he worked for Duke Sforza in Milan (it's hard to tell but the notebook is quite small)

Tippoo's Tiger, 1799; this is a mechanical toy with one hand of the man moving while he emits a wailing sound at the same time grunts come from the tiger

Tippoo's Tiger, 1799; this is a mechanical toy with one hand of the man moving while he emits a wailing sound at the same time grunts come from the tiger

The Rabbits' Christmas Party, 1892, Beatrix Potter; the collection also had illustrations made by Potter as a young girl displaying her talent at an early age

The Rabbits' Christmas Party, 1892, Beatrix Potter; the collection also had illustrations made by Potter as a young girl displaying her talent at an early age

The Londonderry Tiara, 1885; part of the Londonderry Jewels which are one of the finest surviving collections of aristocratic jewelry in Britain

The Londonderry Tiara, 1885; part of the Londonderry Jewels which are one of the finest surviving collections of aristocratic jewelry in Britain

Cast of David, 1856; donated by Queen Victoria, the V and A's cast of David has been a favorite with visitors since its arrival in 1857

Cast of David, 1856; donated by Queen Victoria, the V and A's cast of David has been a favorite with visitors since its arrival in 1857

The V and A Museum owns the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, with the holdings of Italian Renaissance items being the largest outside Italy

The V and A Museum owns the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, with the holdings of Italian Renaissance items being the largest outside Italy

The Great Bed of Ware, 1590, England; this bed was famous because of its size and, by 1836, was already being displayed for the public to see

The Great Bed of Ware, 1590, England; this bed was famous because of its size and, by 1836, was already being displayed for the public to see

Strongbox, 1680, England; two bolts concealed in the sides allowed it to be screwed down into floorboards (perfect for traveling)

Strongbox, 1680, England; two bolts concealed in the sides allowed it to be screwed down into floorboards (perfect for traveling)

The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world

The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world

John Evelyn's Cabinet, 1645, Florence; collecting items abroad was a new, fashionable activity at the English court and cabinets became display cases for precious art treasures and curiosities

John Evelyn's Cabinet, 1645, Florence; collecting items abroad was a new, fashionable activity at the English court and cabinets became display cases for precious art treasures and curiosities

The Hereford Screen, 1862, England; when it was unveiled at the 1862 International Exhibition it was hailed as the grandest and most triumphant achievement of modern architectural art

The Hereford Screen, 1862, England; when it was unveiled at the 1862 International Exhibition it was hailed as the grandest and most triumphant achievement of modern architectural art

Casts of Trajan's Column, 1864; the Cast Courts are dominated by a plaster cast of the original marble column (in 2 parts) made around 1864

Casts of Trajan's Column, 1864; the Cast Courts are dominated by a plaster cast of the original marble column (in 2 parts) made around 1864

Chest of Drawers, 1653, England; the chest of drawers was a new type of furniture since clothes had traditionally been stored in lidded trunks

Chest of Drawers, 1653, England; the chest of drawers was a new type of furniture since clothes had traditionally been stored in lidded trunks

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Ground, 1823, John Constable; one of Constable's few commissioned works, this was painted for his friend, the Bishop of Salisbury

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Ground, 1823, John Constable; one of Constable's few commissioned works, this was painted for his friend, the Bishop of Salisbury

Swan and Otter Hunt (Devonshire Hunts), 1440; these enormous Flemish tapestries, each over 3 meters wide, depict men and women in fashionable dress of the early fifteenth century hunting

Swan and Otter Hunt (Devonshire Hunts), 1440; these enormous Flemish tapestries, each over 3 meters wide, depict men and women in fashionable dress of the early fifteenth century hunting

Basin with Golden Horn Design, 1545, Turkey; examples of this type of pattern have been excavated near the Golden Horn in Istanbul

Basin with Golden Horn Design, 1545, Turkey; examples of this type of pattern have been excavated near the Golden Horn in Istanbul

Brooch (from Russian Crown Jewels), 1750; the jewelry section of the V and A was one of the most crowded

Brooch (from Russian Crown Jewels), 1750; the jewelry section of the V and A was one of the most crowded

Book of Hours, 1515; inscriptions in the margins tell us that this book belonged to a noble family in Lorraine, France

Book of Hours, 1515; inscriptions in the margins tell us that this book belonged to a noble family in Lorraine, France

Samson Slaying a Philistine, 1562, Giambologna; the most famous sculptor of his day, Giambologna created this work as a commission from the de Medicis

Samson Slaying a Philistine, 1562, Giambologna; the most famous sculptor of his day, Giambologna created this work as a commission from the de Medicis

East Cowes Castle: The Regatta Starting for their Moorings, 1828, JMW Turner; the critic John Ruskin believed this to be one of the highest pieces of intellectual art existing

East Cowes Castle: The Regatta Starting for their Moorings, 1828, JMW Turner; the critic John Ruskin believed this to be one of the highest pieces of intellectual art existing

Tile stove, 1578, southern Germany; this stove was probably made for the Convent of St. Wolfgang at Engen in the Black Forest

Tile stove, 1578, southern Germany; this stove was probably made for the Convent of St. Wolfgang at Engen in the Black Forest

Cast of Moses, Michelangelo, 1858

Cast of Moses, Michelangelo, 1858

Gamesboard, 1581, Augsburg, Germany; used for backgammom, draughts and chess; ebony and bone on wood with gilded metal fittings

Gamesboard, 1581, Augsburg, Germany; used for backgammom, draughts and chess; ebony and bone on wood with gilded metal fittings

Beaker with the Imperial Eagle, 1594, Bohemia, Czech Republic

Beaker with the Imperial Eagle, 1594, Bohemia, Czech Republic

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Conwy - the most scenic town in Wales

Lancaster Square is in the center of Conwy; Wales is roughly 170 miles long by 60 miles wide which is about the same area as Massachusetts

Lancaster Square is in the center of Conwy; Wales is roughly 170 miles long by 60 miles wide which is about the same area as Massachusetts

Rick Steve's says Conwy has the best medieval walls in Britain; Welsh is one of Europe's oldest languages - written since about 600 AD and spoken 300 years before French or German

Rick Steve's says Conwy has the best medieval walls in Britain; Welsh is one of Europe's oldest languages - written since about 600 AD and spoken 300 years before French or German

Conwy Castle and the town walls were built, on the instruction of Edward I of England, between 1283 and 1289, as part of his conquest of the principality of Wales; the town of Conwy only has about 4000 residents

Conwy Castle and the town walls were built, on the instruction of Edward I of England, between 1283 and 1289, as part of his conquest of the principality of Wales; the town of Conwy only has about 4000 residents

Known for their colorful shells and rich tasting meat, Conwy mussels are simply the best flavored mussels in the UK or so they say; the mussels here are hand-raked and found just half a mile downstream in the Conwy estuary

Known for their colorful shells and rich tasting meat, Conwy mussels are simply the best flavored mussels in the UK or so they say; the mussels here are hand-raked and found just half a mile downstream in the Conwy estuary

We could climb up 3 of the 4 round towers at Conwy Castle for terrific 360 degree views; Lee and I kept going up and down the towers to get photos of each other without other people in them

We could climb up 3 of the 4 round towers at Conwy Castle for terrific 360 degree views; Lee and I kept going up and down the towers to get photos of each other without other people in them

Now that Lee has retired, he's become quite the world traveler; I was lucky to be able to get on his packed schedule for a few weeks in England and Wales!

Now that Lee has retired, he's become quite the world traveler; I was lucky to be able to get on his packed schedule for a few weeks in England and Wales!

A view of the 3 bridges approaching Conwy castle - on the left, the 1958 highway bridge; on the right is the rail bridge which tunnels beneath the town; in the middle is my favorite the 1826 Telford Suspension Bridge

A view of the 3 bridges approaching Conwy castle - on the left, the 1958 highway bridge; on the right is the rail bridge which tunnels beneath the town; in the middle is my favorite the 1826 Telford Suspension Bridge

Billed as the smallest house in the UK, the red home is 72 inches wide and 122 inches high!; we were too cheap to pay the 1 pound to peak inside

Billed as the smallest house in the UK, the red home is 72 inches wide and 122 inches high!; we were too cheap to pay the 1 pound to peak inside

Hundreds of years ago mussel fishing was primarily carried out looking for pearls which were then sold to London jewelers; one pearl that was found in a fresh water Conwy River mussel is part of the Crown Jewels

Hundreds of years ago mussel fishing was primarily carried out looking for pearls which were then sold to London jewelers; one pearl that was found in a fresh water Conwy River mussel is part of the Crown Jewels

Some people pronounced the name of the town as its spelled and others pronounced it like Conway so we were never sure which one was accurate; rugby is the unofficial sport of Wales, more popular than any country other than NZ

Some people pronounced the name of the town as its spelled and others pronounced it like Conway so we were never sure which one was accurate; rugby is the unofficial sport of Wales, more popular than any country other than NZ

Walking the walls, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, was free and let us get a good look at Conwy and its environs; our lodging was outside of town (and above a pub) so we could have parking

Walking the walls, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, was free and let us get a good look at Conwy and its environs; our lodging was outside of town (and above a pub) so we could have parking

There was a large chapel within Conwy Castle; everyone in the castle ate together but there was a definite class structure with the highest ranked getting the larger portions and best choices

There was a large chapel within Conwy Castle; everyone in the castle ate together but there was a definite class structure with the highest ranked getting the larger portions and best choices

The Guard at Conwy Castle is made from Welsh oak beams and carved with details representing the wooden vaulting, ribbing and flourishes that might have once adorned the rooms of the castle

The Guard at Conwy Castle is made from Welsh oak beams and carved with details representing the wooden vaulting, ribbing and flourishes that might have once adorned the rooms of the castle

Lee looks cold and far away at Conwy Castle; despite the seeming remoteness of some of our destinations, Lee found lots of international cuisine from which to choose

Lee looks cold and far away at Conwy Castle; despite the seeming remoteness of some of our destinations, Lee found lots of international cuisine from which to choose

The man responsible for inventing the initial chlorination method of purifying mussels (here in Conwy) was Robert Dodgson; he was the brother of Charles Dodgson, more popularly known as Lewis Carroll

The man responsible for inventing the initial chlorination method of purifying mussels (here in Conwy) was Robert Dodgson; he was the brother of Charles Dodgson, more popularly known as Lewis Carroll

The 1826 Telford Suspension Bridge was an engineering marvel in its day; built 100 years before the similarly constructed Golden Gate Bridge

The 1826 Telford Suspension Bridge was an engineering marvel in its day; built 100 years before the similarly constructed Golden Gate Bridge

The walls around Conwy are only 1.3 kms around so the castle isn't as far away as it appears; the walls have 21 towers and 3 gatehouses

The walls around Conwy are only 1.3 kms around so the castle isn't as far away as it appears; the walls have 21 towers and 3 gatehouses

Wales became the first country with the majority of its people working in industry; that's why the Welsh didn't emigrate to North America in numbers like the Irish and Scottish

Wales became the first country with the majority of its people working in industry; that's why the Welsh didn't emigrate to North America in numbers like the Irish and Scottish

Conwy Castle is Rick Steve's favorite among the many castles of northern Wales; his reasoning was it's compact, easy to explore and has amazing views

Conwy Castle is Rick Steve's favorite among the many castles of northern Wales; his reasoning was it's compact, easy to explore and has amazing views

How could we not take a selfie here!; it was the only such sign we saw throughout the UK but they could have been on any corner since we saw older people out everywhere

How could we not take a selfie here!; it was the only such sign we saw throughout the UK but they could have been on any corner since we saw older people out everywhere

The Welsh flag features a red dragon which has been a symbol of Wales since at least the 9th century; we saw lots of Welsh flags in Wales but very few UK flags

The Welsh flag features a red dragon which has been a symbol of Wales since at least the 9th century; we saw lots of Welsh flags in Wales but very few UK flags

Typical townhouse construction shows how dangerous it can be walking out your front door!; car parking was not something that was envisioned when these were built

Typical townhouse construction shows how dangerous it can be walking out your front door!; car parking was not something that was envisioned when these were built

When constructed the castle walls had a clear zone outside so soldiers inside could see if anyone was trying to sneak up on them; when the town outgrew the walls the clear zone was maintained creating a green belt

When constructed the castle walls had a clear zone outside so soldiers inside could see if anyone was trying to sneak up on them; when the town outgrew the walls the clear zone was maintained creating a green belt

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Excellent and Endless Sightseeing Options within London

Chuck was on a layover so we were able to enjoy an afternoon together; the London Eye is Europe's tallest cantilevered observation wheel, and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually

Chuck was on a layover so we were able to enjoy an afternoon together; the London Eye is Europe's tallest cantilevered observation wheel, and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually

In 1848 two Englishmen patented their iron girders which were used to construct the Joiner Street Bridge; most of the bridge is now encased in brick with Joiner Street being pedestrianized through the London Bridge Station

In 1848 two Englishmen patented their iron girders which were used to construct the Joiner Street Bridge; most of the bridge is now encased in brick with Joiner Street being pedestrianized through the London Bridge Station

Parliament and Big Ben from the London Eye; there are 32 10 ton capsules which each hold up to 25 people; you ride only one revolution which takes about 30 minutes

Parliament and Big Ben from the London Eye; there are 32 10 ton capsules which each hold up to 25 people; you ride only one revolution which takes about 30 minutes

View of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from the Tate Modern; admission to the museum is free but the special exhibitions carry a hefty admission price

View of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge from the Tate Modern; admission to the museum is free but the special exhibitions carry a hefty admission price

The Churchill War Rooms offered a fascinating walk through the underground headquarters of the British government's WW2 efforts; the included audioguide provided tons of information

The Churchill War Rooms offered a fascinating walk through the underground headquarters of the British government's WW2 efforts; the included audioguide provided tons of information

Our tour through the state rooms at Buckingham Palace was just jaw-dropping; we didn't see all 775 rooms, but the ones we saw were full of art masterpieces, hand-cut crystal chandeliers, exquisite furniture and lots of royal touches

Our tour through the state rooms at Buckingham Palace was just jaw-dropping; we didn't see all 775 rooms, but the ones we saw were full of art masterpieces, hand-cut crystal chandeliers, exquisite furniture and lots of royal touches

The ceiling of the Banqueting House was painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens; commissioned by Charles I to celebrate his father, the ceiling portrays James I's peaceful reign and the union of the Scottish and English crowns

The ceiling of the Banqueting House was painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens; commissioned by Charles I to celebrate his father, the ceiling portrays James I's peaceful reign and the union of the Scottish and English crowns

The Shard from the London Eye; the standard ticket costs 30 pounds and Chuck and I waited in line about 30 minutes on a Saturday

The Shard from the London Eye; the standard ticket costs 30 pounds and Chuck and I waited in line about 30 minutes on a Saturday

A statue of Isaac Newton greets visitors to the British Library; it houses some of the most valuable manuscripts in the world including two 1215 copies of the Magna Carta

A statue of Isaac Newton greets visitors to the British Library; it houses some of the most valuable manuscripts in the world including two 1215 copies of the Magna Carta

The Greek Revival façade of the British Museum has 44 columns in the Ionic order 14 meters high, closely based on those of the temple of Athena Polias at Priene in Turkey

The Greek Revival façade of the British Museum has 44 columns in the Ionic order 14 meters high, closely based on those of the temple of Athena Polias at Priene in Turkey

The Portobello Road Market is the worlds largest antiques market with 1,000  dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible; we were there accidentally trying to find lunch for Lee

The Portobello Road Market is the world’s largest antiques market with 1,000+ dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible; we were there accidentally trying to find lunch for Lee

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of more than 2.27 million objects

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of more than 2.27 million objects

The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world

The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewelry, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world

We took an informative, guided tour through Royal Albert Hall; we got to listen to the rehearsal for the evening concert of Rochmaninov's Symphony Number 2 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

We took an informative, guided tour through Royal Albert Hall; we got to listen to the rehearsal for the evening concert of Rochmaninov's Symphony Number 2 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

The Gothic Revival Albert Memorial, directly north of the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gardens, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband who died in 1861

The Gothic Revival Albert Memorial, directly north of the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gardens, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband who died in 1861

Queen Victoria married a 20 year old cousin who then became Prince Albert; after Prince Albert died of typhoid at the age of 42 Queen Victoria wore only black for the rest of her life

Queen Victoria married a 20 year old cousin who then became Prince Albert; after Prince Albert died of typhoid at the age of 42 Queen Victoria wore only black for the rest of her life

Despite the impending uncertainty with Brexit, there seemed to be endless construction underway as illustrated by hundreds of cranes; Boris Johnson was mayor of London from 2008-2016

Despite the impending uncertainty with Brexit, there seemed to be endless construction underway as illustrated by hundreds of cranes; Boris Johnson was mayor of London from 2008-2016

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park was packed with kids trying to escape the warm temperatures; the park is known for holding large-scale free rock music concerts, featuring groups such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Queen

Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park was packed with kids trying to escape the warm temperatures; the park is known for holding large-scale free rock music concerts, featuring groups such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Queen

Horse Guards Parade hosted beach volleyball at the 2012 Summer Olympics; the rear garden wall of 10 Downing Street (the official residence of the British Prime Minister) abuts Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade hosted beach volleyball at the 2012 Summer Olympics; the rear garden wall of 10 Downing Street (the official residence of the British Prime Minister) abuts Horse Guards Parade

As part of the Churchill War Rooms, there is a Churchill Museum which covered his entire life; Churchill was quite an accomplished painter and also won the Nobel prize for literature for his stirring oratory

As part of the Churchill War Rooms, there is a Churchill Museum which covered his entire life; Churchill was quite an accomplished painter and also won the Nobel prize for literature for his stirring oratory

The Canary Wharf area is a big financial center; London has been called the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, most popular for work, and the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world

The Canary Wharf area is a big financial center; London has been called the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, most popular for work, and the most vegetarian-friendly city in the world

The current Houses of Parliament date from 1876 after fire in 1834 destroyed the old palace; today it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we took an informative 2 hour tour of the buildings

The current Houses of Parliament date from 1876 after fire in 1834 destroyed the old palace; today it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we took an informative 2 hour tour of the buildings

This contemporary light sculpture in Westminster Hall contains hand-blown glass scrolls that are lit as the River Thames approaches high tide; the lighting changes every 30 seconds

This contemporary light sculpture in Westminster Hall contains hand-blown glass scrolls that are lit as the River Thames approaches high tide; the lighting changes every 30 seconds

Lee decided the London Eye was too expensive given we had plenty to see using our London Pass; the London Eye has been reproduced in many other cities including Stratford, Cardiff and even Myrtle Beach

Lee decided the London Eye was too expensive given we had plenty to see using our London Pass; the London Eye has been reproduced in many other cities including Stratford, Cardiff and even Myrtle Beach

The Museum of Brands was crammed full of old British products and advertising; it was quite interesting and better than I expected but no photos were allowed

The Museum of Brands was crammed full of old British products and advertising; it was quite interesting and better than I expected but no photos were allowed

The Victoria Tower is at the southwest end of the Palace of Westminster and is slightly taller than the tower on the other end, popularly known as Big Ben; Big Ben is currently shrouded by scaffolding as it undergoes a multi-year restoration

The Victoria Tower is at the southwest end of the Palace of Westminster and is slightly taller than the tower on the other end, popularly known as Big Ben; Big Ben is currently shrouded by scaffolding as it undergoes a multi-year restoration

The Wellcome Collection opened in 2007 and displays a mixture of medical artifacts and original artworks exploring ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art; it was free

The Wellcome Collection opened in 2007 and displays a mixture of medical artifacts and original artworks exploring ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art; it was free

Sir Henry Wellcome founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome with his colleague Silas Burroughs in 1880, which is one of the four large companies to eventually merge to form GlaxoSmithKline

Sir Henry Wellcome founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome with his colleague Silas Burroughs in 1880, which is one of the four large companies to eventually merge to form GlaxoSmithKline

The largest collection of Merchant Navy figureheads in the world is aboard the Cutty Sark; the Brits are all super friendly and so polite

The largest collection of Merchant Navy figureheads in the world is aboard the Cutty Sark; the Brits are all super friendly and so polite

The Guildhall Art Gallery houses the art collection of the City of London which includes lots of paintings of the city as well as maps and other historical artifacts; another free museum!

The Guildhall Art Gallery houses the art collection of the City of London which includes lots of paintings of the city as well as maps and other historical artifacts; another free museum!

The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, in the Guildhall Art Gallery, is by American John Singleton Copley; the siege was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American Revolution

The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, in the Guildhall Art Gallery, is by American John Singleton Copley; the siege was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American Revolution

Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837; a German bomb destroyed the palace chapel during WW2 with the Queen's Gallery built where the chapel had been

Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837; a German bomb destroyed the palace chapel during WW2 with the Queen's Gallery built where the chapel had been

Buckingham Palace from the London Eye; it used to offer the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 245 m observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public in February 2013

Buckingham Palace from the London Eye; it used to offer the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 245 m observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public in February 2013

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Roman history & architectural mastery in Bath, England

In 1687 Queen Mary, fighting infertility, bathed here and within 10 months a son was born; Bath was revitalized as a spa town with most of the buildings seen now from the 18th century

In 1687 Queen Mary, fighting infertility, bathed here and within 10 months a son was born; Bath was revitalized as a spa town with most of the buildings seen now from the 18th century

The Pulteney Bridge across the River Avon was completed in 1773; it is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides

The Pulteney Bridge across the River Avon was completed in 1773; it is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides

Bath Abbey was built in the late 1400s and is one of the few remaining medieval buildings in the city; like Westminster Abbey, the floor and walls are lined with memorials and tombstones

Bath Abbey was built in the late 1400s and is one of the few remaining medieval buildings in the city; like Westminster Abbey, the floor and walls are lined with memorials and tombstones

Bath has a team of volunteer ambassadors that lead tourists on free city tours several times a day; the city of 90,000 has come to depend on tourism with 2  million visitors each year

Bath has a team of volunteer ambassadors that lead tourists on free city tours several times a day; the city of 90,000 has come to depend on tourism with 2+ million visitors each year

The Royal Crescent is the most notable and well known of Bath's famous crescents; built in 1774, the Royal Crescent stands out because of its scale and the ambition of its imposing, Roman-influenced design

The Royal Crescent is the most notable and well known of Bath's famous crescents; built in 1774, the Royal Crescent stands out because of its scale and the ambition of its imposing, Roman-influenced design

Rick Steve's calls Bath the best city to visit as a day trip from London; it has more protected historic buildings per capita than any other town in England

Rick Steve's calls Bath the best city to visit as a day trip from London; it has more protected historic buildings per capita than any other town in England

Water at a temperature of 114.8 �F rises at the rate of 1,170,000 liters every day from a geological fault to supply the Roman Baths; 12,000  Roman coins were recovered here which is the largest collective votive deposit known from Britain

Water at a temperature of 114.8 °F rises at the rate of 1,170,000 liters every day from a geological fault to supply the Roman Baths; 12,000+ Roman coins were recovered here which is the largest collective votive deposit known from Britain

This mosaic is from a 4th century home in Aquae Sulis (the Roman name for Bath); the Roman Baths were much larger than they appeared on the outside with much of the facility below street level

This mosaic is from a 4th century home in Aquae Sulis (the Roman name for Bath); the Roman Baths were much larger than they appeared on the outside with much of the facility below street level

Lee and I took a tour to the top of the spire of Bath Abbey; the views of the Cornish countryside from the top were spectacular

Lee and I took a tour to the top of the spire of Bath Abbey; the views of the Cornish countryside from the top were spectacular

These are parts of the pediment of the Bath Roman Temple, measuring 26 feet wide and 8 feet from the apex to the bottom, above the pillars on the front of the building

These are parts of the pediment of the Bath Roman Temple, measuring 26 feet wide and 8 feet from the apex to the bottom, above the pillars on the front of the building

An excellent audioguide with comments by Bill Bryson makes for an informative visit to the Roman Baths; you can no longer bathe here, but there is one facility in town where you can still partake of the heated, mineral waters

An excellent audioguide with comments by Bill Bryson makes for an informative visit to the Roman Baths; you can no longer bathe here, but there is one facility in town where you can still partake of the heated, mineral waters

Bath's influence peaked in 973 with King Edgar's sumptuous coronation in the abbey; Bath then declined until the mid-1600s, wasting away to just a huddle of huts around the abbey

Bath's influence peaked in 973 with King Edgar's sumptuous coronation in the abbey; Bath then declined until the mid-1600s, wasting away to just a huddle of huts around the abbey

Bath has straightforward street names but, like the rest of the UK, Brits love their pubs and get quite loud when they drink; lodging is extremely expensive and in short supply in Bath

Bath has straightforward street names but, like the rest of the UK, Brits love their pubs and get quite loud when they drink; lodging is extremely expensive and in short supply in Bath

There are lots of pubs with fish and chips as well as plenty of Indian and Thai restaurants in the UK; I had not seen these delicacies before and didn't make myself sick by trying one

There are lots of pubs with fish and chips as well as plenty of Indian and Thai restaurants in the UK; I had not seen these delicacies before and didn't make myself sick by trying one

Bath is a triumph of the Neoclassical style of the Georgian era - named for the 4 Georges who sat as England's kings from 1714 until 1830

Bath is a triumph of the Neoclassical style of the Georgian era - named for the 4 Georges who sat as England's kings from 1714 until 1830

Royal Victoria Park was opened in 1830 by the 11-year-old Princess Victoria seven years before her ascension to the throne and was the first park to carry her name; this blue heron was kept company by lots of ducks, gulls and pigeons

Royal Victoria Park was opened in 1830 by the 11-year-old Princess Victoria seven years before her ascension to the throne and was the first park to carry her name; this blue heron was kept company by lots of ducks, gulls and pigeons

The Royal Crescent gained its regal name when Prince Frederick made it his home in the 18th century; on a hill overlooking the city, the Royal Crescent is among the reasons Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Royal Crescent gained its regal name when Prince Frederick made it his home in the 18th century; on a hill overlooking the city, the Royal Crescent is among the reasons Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tree carving in the 1887 botanical garden; the small, neglected garden was part of the much-larger Royal Victoria Park which had huge green spaces featuring a very popular 18 hole mini-golf course and Saturday night outdoor movie series

Tree carving in the 1887 botanical garden; the small, neglected garden was part of the much-larger Royal Victoria Park which had huge green spaces featuring a very popular 18 hole mini-golf course and Saturday night outdoor movie series

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